Neurological complications of sickle cell anemia

Sharada A. Sarnaik, Jeanne M. Lusher

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64 Scopus citations


A variety of neurological complications occur with sickle cell hemoglobinopathy. The most striking and most common is cerehral infarction. It is also the most devastating. Because of the high recurrence rate in untreated patients, cerehral infarction is the most debilitating neurological complication. The observed frequency varies from 6% to as high as 34% in different reports. The palhogenesis, clinical features, and demography are discussed. Diagnostic procedures should include a spinal tap to rule out potentially treatable lesions. CT scan and cerebral angiography may also he helpful in certain cases, Transfusion therapy remains the mainstay of management in the acute phase of cerebral infarction. There is considerable evidence to indicate that long-term transfusion programs are effective in the prevention of recurrences. Intracranial hemorrhage, spinal cord infarction, isolated neuropathies due to anatomical proximity to infarcted hones, lead neuropathy, auditory problems, and ocular manifestations are other neurological problems which can affect patients with sickle cell disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-394
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1982


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